- This topic has 6 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated April 28, 2007 at 7:58 pm by .
- April 28, 2007 at 7:58 pm #251761Guest
Hi, Melissa, I’m from IL, too. I have full size hens and banties. My hens will usually give me an egg about every other day. You have to make sure you have a place for them to nest or they will lay them anywhere (and you may never find them!) I found that out the hard way when in the middle of the last snowstorm I heard some peeping and found 3 baby chicks. They were hatched under a lawnmower that was being stored there over the winter. I had to put them in a special cage with a heat lamp so they didn’t freeze to death. I keep a heat lamp on anyway in the winter but this wouldn’t have been enough to help the chickssince my lamps hang to keep them warm when roosting and the heat doesn’t reach the floor. For nests I use anything that will hold straw….old wooden boxes, dairy crates, old refrigerator drawers, you get the idea. My hens like to share so they take turns and I may get5 or 6eggs out of one nest. They tend to get a bit ticked waiting their turn and sometimes one will stay on and set. I guess they each have their favorite place to lay.You may want to make sure the nests are a little out of the way so they have a bit of privacy. If you decide to let one of your hens set, mark the egg with the date and gather the ones you didn’t mark each day or make sure there is another nest available.Usually takes about 28 days, I think to hatch. If you decide to let your hen set and you don’t want any more roosters, pick the most oval or round eggs. Pointy or more elongated ones are supposed to hatch roosters. Don’t know if that is true or not but that is what I read. One of these days I will try it. I just had 4 hatch about a week ago and have no clue what they are. With my luck most will be roosters. My uncle gave me 5 chicksacouple of years agoand 4 were roosters. Mine kept producing eggs right through the winter and it wasn’t until February that they slowed down. They have to have so much light each day or they won’t lay. I do let my big ones out during the day and they always go back to the coop at night. If they don’t I toss out some pieces of bread and they follow me back. I have to keep an eye on Cher or she will grab it right out of my hand. I lock the pen at night so the coons and coyotes don’t get them. I keep my full size and banties separated in 2 different pens because the big ones sometimes pick on the smaller ones. My banties don’t get out much except in their yard around the coop but most of the grass is gone. They love to have fresh grass so I sometimes pick some or gather a bunch after mowing and throw it in the pen. They also go nuts for worms and bugs. I have a couple of patio stones by the faucet and pull that up each time I go in and they come running and get anything that is under it. If no one is in the yard I’ll yell out “Worm Patrol!” and you should see them! They are a lot like little kids pushing to be first in line! Make sure you have a good laying mash for themand fresh water. Mine would eat allscratch and no layer feed if I let them. Offer oyster shells for them to make the shells strong and make sure there are small rocks or grit available to help them with their food. Since they don’t have teeth the grit and pebbles help break down the food so they can digest it. You can get the grit and shells at any farm supply store. They also love any scraps andthat makes the yolks a darker color. Mine love bread, rolls, leftover pasta w/o sauce, tomatoes, some fruits, vegetable peelings, pudding (who would have thought?!) and just try tossing some leftover mashed potatoes in and watch them go nuts! A friend of mine who works at the Meals on Wheels Program I volunteer at takes home a lot of the leftovers and gives them to her chickens. She’s the one that told me to try mashed potatoes and pudding. Hope this gives you some ideas. I have been raising chickens for 3 years and have learned a lot from books, the Internet, and by asking a lot of questions. Good luck with your flock! Pam
— In Budget101_@yahoogroups.com, M F” milicaf35@“wrote:
> “We have 4 chickens that are at least 1 yr old. We bought them last October. All winter there were no eggs. Then warm weather came around and 2 of them were laying eggs here and there. Then we had a snow storm about a month ago, and since then we have had no eggs at all. Also we use to let them roam the yard after the snow melted. Then they were roaming into the neighbors yards and we do not let them out any more. I don’t know if that is the reason or what but they are not laying eggs. We feed them mixture of corn, wheat etc., and give them fruit & vegetable scraps. Any suggestions as to why they are not laying eggs and what can we do to get eggs from them. They have a winter place that is closed inn, but then there is a small door that we opened so they can be in an open chicken fence area which is about 8 x 12 yards, with a chicken fence roof as well.”
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